21 CCL clubs will be involved this week in the Extra-Preliminary Round of the FA Cup. It should have been 23 but sadly Redhill have been eliminated, following the news that one of their players has tested positive for Covid. Having played in a friendly for Redhill on Tuesday evening, the entire Redhill 1st Team have also had to quarantine, meaning that Redhill have had to pull out of of not only their FA Cup tie against fellow CCL side Egham Town, but also their opening two league matches against Sheerwater and Raynes Park Vale.
Redhill have released a statement on their web site as follows: "We have received confirmation that one of our First Team players has tested positive today for Covid-19.
Following detailed consultation with Public Health England, we are advising those who had close contact with the player in question to self-isolate for the next 14 days. The advice given is that this is limited to Redhill FC management team and players who shared the dressing room; fixtures will be suspended during this 2 week period.
We hope everyone involved has a clean bill of health in the coming weeks and we look forward to the resumption of First Team football."
Of the clubs who will be playing, there are two all CCL ties with Banstead Athletic making their way to CB Hounslow United and Southall visiting Molesey, who have just seen the abrupt departure of long serving manager, Craig Lewington and a number of players.
At a quick glance it would seem that Premier Division Ascot United face the longest trip down to Christchurch in Hampshire but Farnham Town are not far behind with their 80 mile trip down to Corsham in Wiltshire.
It will be the first competitive match for most clubs if not all, so very difficult to predict. Last season 13 CCL clubs reached the dizzy heights of the Preliminary Round, a ratio of more than 50%, so if that could be beaten, it would be a good night for the League.
Apart from the draconian rules that the FA has found necessary to implement this season, which will see clubs removed from the competition if they can't play within the very narrow time "bubble" allowed for each round, there will be no extra time nor replays, with penalties to be used if the scores are level after 90 minutes